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Publication numberUS6516993 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/964,958
Publication dateFeb 11, 2003
Filing dateSep 27, 2001
Priority dateSep 2, 1999
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA2376602A1, CA2376602C, DE60045380D1, EP1208307A1, EP1208307A4, EP1208307B1, US6308591, US20020046624, WO2001016496A1
Publication number09964958, 964958, US 6516993 B2, US 6516993B2, US-B2-6516993, US6516993 B2, US6516993B2
InventorsMark W. Dankow, Christopher W. Forrest, Vincent Mastrangelo, Thomas Sholeen
Original AssigneeThe Boler Company.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Control rod
US 6516993 B2
Abstract
A fabricated control rod is disclosed having a spacer with a “C” or “U-shaped” channel cross-section. The spacer also has a bushing tube welded to each of its ends. Each end of the spacer is shaped to have a substantially continuous mating engagement with the exterior side surface of the adjacent bushing tube. Also, at least a substantially complete perimeter weld joins both the interior and exterior of each shaped end to the bushing tube.
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Claims(31)
What is claimed is:
1. The method of making a control rod which comprises, shaping the ends of a spacer rod having a C or U-shaped channel cross-section so that each end has substantially complete engagement with the side surface of a bushing tube, and forming at least a substantially complete perimeter weld around the interior and exterior of said spacer rod end thereby welding each spacer rod end to a bushing tube.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the center-of-mass of each end of said spacer rod is juxtaposed to approach geometric center of the bushing tube prior to welding.
3. A method of making a control rod comprising the steps of:
constructing a spacer having a generally uniform C or U-shaped channel cross-section along its length and having first and second C or U-shaped ends;
constructing a first brushing tube having an exterior side surface;
shaping said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer to have an interior and an exterior and to have a substantially continuous mating engagement with the exterior side surface of said first bushing tube;
welding said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer with said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube by forming at least a substantially complete perimeter weld along both the interior and exterior of said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer to join the first end to said bushing tube;
constructing a second bushing tube having an exterior side surface;
shaping said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer to have an interior and an exterior and to have a substantially continuous mating engagement with the exterior side surface of said second bushing tube; and
welding said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer with the exterior side surface of said second bushing tube by forming at least a substantially complete perimeter weld along both the interior and exterior of said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer to join the second end to said bushing tube.
4. The method of claim 3 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said spacer such that it has a center-of-mass;
constructing said first bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
5. The method of claim 4 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said second bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
6. The method of claim 3 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said spacer such that it has a center-of-mass;
constructing said first bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
7. The method of claim 6 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said second bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
8. The method of claim 3 wherein said substantially complete perimeter weld joining said first end of said spacer to said first bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
9. The method of claim 8 wherein said substantially complete perimeter weld joining said second end of said spacer to said second bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
10. A method of making a control rod comprising the steps of:
constructing a spacer having a generally uniform C or U-shaped channel cross-section along its length and having first and second C or U-shaped ends;
shaping said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer to have a perimeter defined by an outline of its shape;
constructing a first brushing tube having an exterior side surface;
welding said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer with said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube by forming a substantially complete perimeter weld along the perimeter of said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer to join the first end of said spacer to said bushing tube;
constructing a second bushing tube having an exterior side surface;
shaping said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer to have a perimeter defined by an outline of its shape; and
welding said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer with the exterior side surface of said second bushing tube by forming a substantially complete perimeter weld along the perimeter of said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer to join the second end of said spacer to said bushing tube.
11. The method of claim 10 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said spacer such that it has a center-of-mass;
constructing said first bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
12. The method of claim 11 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said second bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
13. The method of claim 10 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said first bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
14. The method of claim 13 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said second bushing tube such that the exterior side surface thereof has a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
15. The method of claim 10 wherein said substantially complete perimeter weld joining said first end of said spacer to said first bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein said substantially complete perimeter weld joining said second end of said spacer to said second bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
17. A method of making a control rod comprising the steps of:
constructing a spacer having a generally uniform C or U-shaped channel cross-section wherein said C or U-shape of said cross-section includes an open end and a closed end and wherein said spacer has first and second C or U-shaped ends;
constructing a first brushing tube having a bore extending along a first bushing tube bore axis;
constructing a second bushing tube having a bore extending along a second bushing tube bore axis;
welding said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer with said first bushing tube such that said first bushing tube bore axis extends in a direction parallel to a direction generally defined by a line extending from said open end of said cross-section to said closed end of said cross-section; and
welding said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer with said second bushing tube such that said second bushing tube bore axis extends in a direction parallel to said first bushing tube bore axis.
18. The method of claim 17 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said spacer such that it has a center-of-mass;
constructing said first bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said second bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
20. The method of claim 17 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said spacer such that it has a center-of-mass;
constructing said first bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
21. The method of claim 20 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said second bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
22. The method of claim 17 wherein said weld joining said first end of said spacer to said first bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
23. The method of claim 22 wherein said weld joining said second end of said spacer to said second bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
24. A method of making a control rod comprising the steps of:
constructing a spacer having a generally uniform C or U-shaped channel cross-section and having first and second C or U-shaped ends;
constructing a first brushing tube having an exterior side surface;
shaping said first C of U-shaped end of said spacer to have an interior and an exterior and to have a substantially continuous mating engagement with the exterior side surface of said first bushing tube;
welding said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer with said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube by forming at least a substantially complete perimeter weld along both the interior and exterior of said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer to join the first end to said bushing tube;
constructing a second bushing tube having an exterior side surface;
shaping said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer to have an interior and an exterior and to have a substantially continuous mating engagement with the exterior side surface of said second bushing tube;
welding said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer with the exterior side surface of said second bushing tube by forming at least a substantially complete weld along both the interior and exterior of said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer to join the second end to said bushing tube;
positioning means within said first bushing tube for connecting said control rod to a vehicle axle; and
positioning means within said second bushing tube for connecting said control rod to at least one of a vehicle frame and vehicle suspension component.
25. A method of making a control rod comprising the steps of:
constructing a spacer having a generally uniform C or U-shaped channel cross-section along its length wherein said C or U-shape of said cross-section includes an open end and a closed end and wherein said spacer has first and second C or U-shaped ends;
constructing a first brushing tube having a first bushing tube bore defining a first bushing tube bore axis;
welding said first C or U-shaped end of said spacer with said first bushing tube such that said first bushing tube bore axis extends in a direction parallel to a direction generally defined by a line extending from said open end of said cross-section to said closed end of said cross-section;
constructing a second bushing tube having a second bushing tube bore defining a second bushing tube bore axis; and
welding said second C or U-shaped end of said spacer with said second bushing tube such that said second bushing tube bore axis extends in a direction parallel to said first bushing tube bore axis.
26. The method of claim 25 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said spacer such that it has a center-of-mass;
constructing said first bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
27. The method of claim 26 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said second bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is at said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
28. The method of claim 25 further comprising the steps of:
constructing said spacer such that it has a center-of-mass;
constructing said first bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said first bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said first bushing tube.
29. The method of claim 28 further comprising the steps:
constructing said second bushing tube such that it has an exterior side surface having a geometrical center; and
welding said spacer and said second bushing tube together in a position such that said center-of-mass of said spacer is juxtaposed to said geometrical center of said exterior side surface of said second bushing tube.
30. The method of claim 25 wherein said weld joining said first end of said spacer to said first bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
31. The method of claim 30 wherein said weld joining said second end of said spacer to said second bushing tube is formed by a single weld.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a divisional application of, and claims of benefit of priority of, U.S. Ser. No. 09/388,986, filed Sep. 2, 1999 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,308,591, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Control rods are well known components of heavy truck suspensions wherein they are widely used as torque rods and referred to as “torque rods”. The present invention relates to new and improved control rods particularly suited for heavy truck suspensions wherein control rods have been a standard component for over seventy-five years. A control rod is a linkage, which transmits longitudinal and transverse forces from the axle to the frame or suspension component of a vehicle such as a heavy duty truck. The forces acting on the ends of a control rod linkage include torsion, radial, axial and conical patterns as described in SAE J 1183, Elastomeric Bushing TRAC.

The control rods provided by the present invention are characterized by having a spacer rod, which is generally C or U-shaped in cross-section, to the opposite ends of which bushing tubes are welded. The opposite ends of the spacer rod are shaped or contoured so as to have mating or line engagement with the exterior side surface of the bushing tube which is welded to each end of the spacer rod. The welds joining each end of the spacer rod to the bushing tubes are at least substantially complete in that they follow the interior and exterior of each end of the spacer rod. By reason of their C or U-shaped open cross-section the spacer rods have excellent strength on the basis of their weight and permit at least the substantially complete perimeter welds that join their opposite ends to the bushing tubes and thereby provide maximum strength.

Accordingly, the object of the invention generally stated is the provision of new and improved control rods for truck suspensions and other uses, which are economical to make in a variety of sizes utilizing readily available production procedures and equipment. Specifically, the invention applies to low volumes of multiple length low volume control rods.

For a more complete understanding of the nature and scope of the invention reference may now be had to the following detailed description of one embodiment taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of one end of a control rod embodying the present invention and showing the end of the rod component or member welded to a bushing tube;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a control rod embodying the invention;

FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the control rod taken on line 33 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view showing the optimum location of each end of the spacer rod component with respect to axial loading and to the bushing tube to which it is welded; and

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic view showing an end of the spacer rod component geometrically centered with respect to a bushing tube.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-4 a control rod embodying the present invention is indicated generally at 5 therein comprisin a spacer 6 to the opposite ends of which bushing tubes 7 are secured by welding. The spacer component 6 shown has a C or U-shaped cross-section. Each end of the spacer 6 is shaped or contoured so as to have line contact or engagement with the cylindrical side surfaces of the bushing tubes 8 which contain each bushing 7. It will be noted from FIGS. 1-4 and particularly FIG. 4 that the weld W that joins each end of the spacer 6 to a bushing tube 8 is complete or at least substantially complete (i.e. endless) following both the interior and exterior line of engagement between the end of the spacer rod and the side surface of the bushing tube. By reason of the complete perimeter weld W being substantially complete on both interior and exterior of the spacer 6 the joiner of the spacer rod 6 to the bushing tubes 8 the weld is appreciably stronger than if the spacer 6 were hollow in the form of a tube and the weld was thereby confined to the exterior only. Thus, the open-section geometry allows a material increase in the effective weld length as compared to closed sections of equivalent cross-sectional areas and package space. In addition, the chances of shear weld failure from axial loading are at least nearly eliminated due to the weld symmetry. Axial loading is common for longitudinal control rod designs used on heavy trucks during braking and acceleration as well as transverse control rod designs during cornering.

It has been ascertained that the position or geometry of the location of the end of a staker 6 to a bushing tube 8 is important in providing an optimized section and weld design therebetween. Specifically, it has been ascertained that the center-of-mass or channel neutral axis of the spacer rod 6 should be at or juxtaposed to the geometrical center of the bushing tube 8 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. In FIG. 4 the center-of-mass is indicated at C. In FIG. 4 the point C is located midway between the top and bottom of bushing tube 8 but slightly horizontally offset to the right of the midpoint between the open side and closed side of the bushing tube 8. The small offset to the right is equal to the dimension L/2 minus the small distance N which is necessary to complete welding across the material thickness. It will be seen from FIGS. 4 and 5 that the distance A between the closed or rear side of the spacer 6 and the adjacent side of the bushing tube 8 is appreciably greater than the distance B between the open ends of the spacer rod and the adjacent side of the bushing tube. The relative positioning of the end of the spacer rod 6 and bushing tube 8 illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 substantially aligns the axial force vector with the channel center-of-mass thereby minimizing bending stress effects and approaching the pure axial load observed in closed section rods. As a result, the open section control rod life is appreciably increased in axial loading while remaining compliant in torsion. Compliance in torsion is not generally observed on conventional closed section rods used in heavy truck torque rod applications. As a result, such torque rod bushings 7 tend to fail much earlier in service and often dictate excessive rebushing costs or control rod replacement depending on the end user. Control rods having open channel cross-section spacer rods in accordance with the present invention are generally over twice as compliant torsionally and thereby extend bushing service life and save end user cost.

The geometric relationship between the spacer 6 and the bushing tube 8 in FIG. 5 corresponds to the positioning shown in FIG. 4. However, in FIG. 6 which corresponds in scale to FIG. 5 the spacer rod 6 is geometrically centered or positioned with respect to the side of the bushing tube to which it is joined. Thus the spacer rod 6 in FIG. 6 is centered both with respect to the top and bottom of the bushing tube as well as with respect to the vertical sides of the bushing tube. Accordingly the distances C are equal in FIG. 6.

A free body diagram analysis has been conducted in known manner to compare the axial stress of control rods having the spacer r component 6 joined to the bushing tubes 8 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 on one hand and in FIG. 6 on the other hand. According to such free body diagram analysis a control rod conforming to FIGS. 4 and 5 exhibits twenty-five percent less stress in axial loading than a control rod conforming to FIG. 6.

The procedure used in locating the center-of-mass or center of gravity of the spacer 6 at or juxtaposed to the geometrical center of the bushing tube 8 according to FIGS. 4 and 5 prior to welding is well known and is described, for example, in Machinery's Handbook, Industrial Press Inc., New York, 24th Edition at page 119.

The spacer components 6 of the control rods 5 may be cut to length from standard C or U-shaped rods. Alternately, they can be readily formed from sheet metal stock which is formed to desired cross-sectional dimensions and shape. Known low cost sheet metal forming practices and equipment may be used in forming the rods with C or U-shaped cross sections.

The weld W (FIG. 4) can be formed using known welding equipment and procedures. The weld W can be made either in several steps or in a continuous manner. In any case it must be substantially complete in order to achieve optimum results.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7445220Oct 1, 2004Nov 4, 2008Daimler Trucks North America LlcVehicle axle apparatus
US7878517Feb 1, 2011Daimler Trucks North America LlcVehicle axle apparatus
US8777245 *Nov 16, 2012Jul 15, 2014The Pullman CompanyOptimized wall thickness torque rod
US20050173883 *Oct 1, 2004Aug 11, 2005Freightliner, LlcVehicle axle apparatus
US20090066048 *Sep 23, 2008Mar 12, 2009Daimler Trucks North America LlcVehicle axle apparatus
DE102006042801A1 *Sep 8, 2006Mar 27, 2008Zf Friedrichshafen AgDämpfungselement
Classifications
U.S. Classification228/164, 228/171, 228/173.4
International ClassificationF16C7/02
Cooperative ClassificationF16C7/02, B60G2206/11, Y10T74/2159, B60G2206/1112, Y10T74/2153, Y10T74/2142
European ClassificationF16C7/02
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